Sunday, September 04, 2016


Thanks to YouTube (and an alert by eagle-eyed Christopher) I had the chance tonight to see this little Italian/Spanish Euro-Spy production without the Mystery Science Theater fellows distracting me. Gordon Scott was one of the screen's better Tarzans and his various Italian made sword & sandal epics are usually entertaining so I was happy to give this effort my full attention. Gordon is solid as the heroic agent playing him a well as the script allows. Sadly the film is a slapdash affair with a story that is both thin and a bit meandering. A scientist that has just successfully created  a death ray more powerful than a laser (whatever than means) is kidnapped by a group of criminals intent on selling his invention to the highest bidder. Scott plays an international spy Bart Fargo sent to recapture the scientist and foil the dastardly villain's scheme. There are the usual assortment of car chases, fist fights and gun fights along with a few beautiful ladies livening up the scenery. Of course, a few of the ladies turn out to be baddies but that's all in a day's work for professional espionage men so kisses are deployed to defuse some boudoir troubles. 

Overall this isn't a bad Euro-Spy film but it isn't very good either. It has some good sequences, believably nasty villains, great locations and a score that isn't bad even if it's often used in ways that should have been rethought. On the downside the script is pretty weak with the ragged string connecting the various set pieces together sometimes getting close to breaking. This being a Spanish co-production means that a few Paul Naschy co-stars show up in juicy roles including Alberto (Hunchback of the Morgue) Dalbés as the head bad guy (spoiler!) and the lovely Sylvia (Night of the Howling Beast) Solar as a femme fatale leading our man Bart into a death trap.

The weakest part of this obviously low budget production is the truly terrible miniature work throughout. There isn't a single successful shot of miniature car crashes, hovering helicopters or embarrassing toy submarines in swimming pools. I guess I'm just used to better special effects of this type from Italian films simply from my viewing of Antonio Margheriti movies but the shots here really are dreadful. They don't destroy the film for me but they are a distracting element. If you're a fan of the genre this one is worth a MST3K-less viewing but don't go in expecting too much and you'll get some fun out of it.

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